Stone Cold Steve Austin Reveals The WWE Stunt That Almost Killed Him
The year is 1996, the world of WWF is somewhat quiet, with the glory of Hulk Hogan from the late '80s and early '90s gone as a result of his move to WCW.
WWF was crying out for someone to step forward and light a fire in the wrestling world. Step forward Steve Austin.
On June 23, 1996 he'd deliver a speech that would stay with him for years to come, and shape the next era of wrestling entertainment. After defeating Jake 'The Snake' Roberts in the final match of the King of the Ring, he said: "The first thing I want to be done, is to get that piece of crap out of my ring.
"Don't just get him out of the ring, get him out of the WWF because I've proved, son, without a shadow of a doubt, you ain't got what it takes anymore.
"You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere. Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass.
"All he's gotta do is go buy him a cheap bottle of Thunderbird and try to dig back some of that courage he had in his prime.
"As the King Of The Ring, I'm serving notice to every one of the WWF superstars. I don't give a damn what they are, they're all on the list, and that's Stone Cold's list, and I'm fixing to start running through all of 'em.
"And as far as this championship match is considered, son, I don't give a damn if it's Davey Boy Smith or Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin's time has come, and when I get that shot you're looking at the next WWF Champion.
"And that's the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so."
Credit: WWE Network
From then on, the industry changed. Soon Austin would head the Attitude Era, whereby he'd strike up an infamous feud with Vince McMahon. Along with the likes of The Rock, The Undertaker, DX, Kane and Mankind, he'd win the Monday Night Wars between WCW's Monday Nitro and WWF's Monday Night Raw.
In that time, Austin had some unbelievable battles, most notably with Owen Hart, when at Summerslam in 1997, he suffered a broken neck thanks to a botched piledriver.
So, recently, when Austin revealed the stunt that almost killed him, you'd be forgiven for thinking it might be that.
I mean, look at it...
Credit: WWE Network
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The match went to shit following the incident, with Austin barely able to lift himself off the ground. He eventually mustered the strength to do a half-arsed roll up and win, but it was the beginning of a long history of neck problems for the Texas Rattlesnake.
It was something very different that almost killed him, though.
On a recent episode of his podcast, he told the story of how being in a monster truck almost ended his life, prior to ruining The Rock's funeral for him on Raw.
"So there we are, we go live. I get my cue and off I go running up and down that car, crushing the shit out of it," he says.
"Then there's going to be a deal where I drive the truck into the arena. So I go into the back door of the arena and I'm in a holding room with a couple of curtains in front of me. The monster truck was loud as fuck and that 1800 horsepower motor is churning out exhaust fumes.
"So I'm in this room and they shut the door behind me. It was about a three-minute commercial break, so the whole time the people back home are watching commercials. I'm in a room, inside a truck, breathing methanol/alcohol fumes - I could barely breathe. I was just begging for the show to come back on air so I could charge out in the audience and get a breath of fresh air.
"I'm breathing all those exhaust fumes, motherfucker, I was going to crash that gate doing 98 and go and take my own cue and haul ass into the arena, if they hadn't have cued me when they did - I was about to die."
Obviously, as a wrestler, Steve has suffered more than his fair share of injuries. However, now that he's retired, you'd expect them to come less often.
That's not necessarily the case.
The former wrestler shared a picture to his personal Twitter account last year which showed his elbow ahead of his latest podcast. His elbow? That's an odd way to promote a podcast, what's he on abou - oh God, OH GOD, OH FUCKING GOD.
The elbow for today's podcast. @PodcastOne pic.twitter.com/OiSSTRx34C
- Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) September 1, 2016
It's definitely not for the faint-hearted, but, weirdly, it does look like his head.
Speaking on his podcast, he said: "I bent down to pick up a weight and I used my left arm, and my fucking left arm didn't wanna bend. And I'm like 'man, what the fuck's wrong with my arm?'. So I grabbed my left arm with my right hand, and it's like someone had buried a golf ball in my elbow."
Featured Image Credit: PA